During the West Coast run of rodeos, Danielle Lowman and traveling partner Tiffany Schieck tied for the win at the 2023 High Desert Stampede in Redmond, Oregon, April 6–8, with times of 1.8 seconds, worth $3,993 each.
“I believe the setup was three-under, and I’d seen all the calves go through,” Lowman, 30, said. “I knew if you drew right and scored good, you’d be able to pull off a fast shot because it was on the shorter side.”
Lowman, who hails from Gilbert, Arizona, said most of the calves weren’t moving fast enough to pop the rope off quickly, so when she saw her draw was something on the quicker side, it was game on.
“Even Tiffany was like ‘Oh, you’re about to lay this one on it,’” Lowman recalled. “Russell Cardoza was pushing my calf, and I’m someone who likes to hip my calves to the left. I like them kind of going to the right and it worked out for me. Everything I imagined, it happened in the run.”
How Lowman handles short ropes, minimal slack and getting her flag seen
With two knots in her rope now, Lowman is walking a figurative—and literal—tightrope. While most breakaway ropers cut their ropes to length, Lowman throws in a knot or two. The practice leaves her with just enough for one header-sized coil (Lowman is a frequent flier in the team roping, too) and almost no rope between her hands.
“My throw was way out there,” Lowman said. “I was on the barrier, but that calf was stronger, and I saw my shot and threw it. I threw everything I had.”
With a rope that short, Lowman has basically no slack to pull either. Pulling slack is an industry norm because it makes the rope pop off in an arcing motion that can get a flagger’s attention. Conversly, Lowman’s minimal slack doesn’t equate to her rope doesn’t popping off sooner or later than others—its flying path just looks different.
“If I miss my slack, my rope is just popping off [straight],” Lowman said. “I didn’t pull my slack in Redmond, and I was a 1.8. But I think if I practice pulling my slack more, the flagger will see my rope pop off.”
With breakaway times trending faster, every little practice to get the clock stopped helps. Lowman competes with a white Striker rope from Rattler and ties both a white and neon yellow flag on the end for maximum visibility.
“The flaggers have to process a lot,” Lowman said. “It takes a split second to see the rope pop off from the barrier and, then, for the flagger to finally see you [catch] and drop the flag, and then the timers.”
All business with Shi,biz
It took some time for mare Shi,biz to come around to her job as a breakaway horse, but now she’s rock-solid in all kinds of setups.
“When I first got her, she was a little tough to breakaway on, so we heeled on her all winter long,” Lowman said. “We kind of tortured her a little bit so we could ease her mind in the breakaway. She’s a phenomenal breakaway horse now. I can go to any setup on her.”
The 8-year-old mare is sired by reining triple-crown winner Not Ruf At All and out of Shining Spark mare Sangria Shine.
“Her name is Ruf N Shine, and she was rough, but now she shines,” Lowman said.
BreakawayRoping.com Welcomes Coach Lowman
Coming to BreakawayRoping.com in May 2023:
“There is so much good information on there. We’re all different as ropers and I feel like, if you skim through those videos, you can learn something from each person. We’re all different and we all have different ways of making it work.” — Danielle Lowman
Traveling with Tiffany Schieck
Although Lowman and Schieck had been friends for years, the two had never traveled together before the California run.
“She’s a very genuine person, and I am genuine as well,” Lowman said. “I think the both of us being really positive is a good fit. We talk about how we can make our runs better and I really like it.”
Schieck, of Floresville, Texas, echoed Lowman’s sentiments, and talked about their good energy, saying it “let us stay on a high and keep positive energy in the rig.”
For her 1.8-second run, Schieck drew a slower calf but managed to “keep things simple” and stop the clock with mare Susie.
Next on the schedule for the duo is Logandale, Nevada, then back to California for the Red Bluff Round-Up and Clovis Rodeo to close out April.